Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Shelf is up! (part 1)

Well, it's done.  It took a few days longer than expected.  I had a birthday to deal with.  ...I know!  How dare my little man have a birthday in the middle of my "doing"!  lol.  He turned 3 on Thursday.  My oh my how the time flies!!

The cake!

The kid!  ...studiously ignoring the camera!  lol
Back to the shelf!  I wanted cheap, easy and fast.  This is because while I could get help it isn't always entirely willing or able.  Also, if things take too long I just never seem to finish.  AND cheap is always the best route.  Right?

***I feel that before we get started that I should make the disclaimer that I am in no way by any means a professional.  I just have a knack for seeing what I need then finding solutions.  I hope that you get something out of this.  Please feel free to ask lots of questions of me, GoOgle and the person at the store with the apron on that says they know what they're talking about.  Oh!  I did take a wood working AND a metal working course in Jr. High.  Also, I took drafting in Sr. High and then didn't finish a course in College for it too.  Plus, I pay attention to things that interest me and DIY stuff interests me.  I watch lots of those Fix-It shows.  MH, BB, SM are some of my favourite guys!  lol***

So, it cost me two trips to the hardware store and just over $20 +tax (that's Canadian dollars by the way).  Not so bad at all!  Luckily for me my Dad was a mechanic and is a DIY'er too so, he's got all the toys....I mean tools!  I did however have the store cut all of my wire for me (and as long as you don't screw up like I did you won't have to worry about it unless you plan to trim the edges...which is totally NOT worth it!  I had to cut that wire with the wrong kind of tool and it was dull!  ugh.  lol) so, I didn't have to do it myself (at least at the beginning).  Nasty stuff.  I also played with the option of using rope which would have totally worked but, I don't trust my knot tying abilities.  While your planning and gathering your supplies try to keep in mind what the shelf will be holding.  I've just got some blankets and board games and a few suitcases.  What I used is just right for that.  If you'll be putting anything heavier up there make sure you figure that into your plans.

What I bought:

* 1 piece of MDF board 3/4 inches thick and 2' X 4'.  this is how big my shelf is.
* a 1" X 4" that was 8" long.  I cut this in half (kind of, I was off by about 1/4 inch, no big deal for me!)
* 3 pieces of 3/32 wire rope at 3-1/4' long (I only ended up using two, when I was buying it I was thinking of a 6' shelf not a 4')
* and the crimps / sleeves and clips to go with it.
* hooks

What I had on-hand:

*Drill (with a drill bit that has a bigger circumference than the rope wire and screwdriver bit that fits your screws)
*Crimper (there are other options, I'll let you know about them, I wish I'd made use of them!  My poor
*Wrench (to tighten the nuts on the wire rope clips)
*Wood glue
*Measuring tape
*Height increaser (aka: ladder or step stool, chair....? something to help you reach near the ceiling just be safe!)

Not everything is in this picture because I didn't think far enough ahead to take any as many as I could have.  Sorry!  I'll get better as time goes on!!

Most of it!

I'm going to apologize here for the crappy pictures.  I dropped my phone and broke the camera.  It still takes pictures.  A solution is on its way but as it is on a "slow boat from China" (probably literally...) it's gonna be a few weeks.  I'll maybe do a post about that too...?

Back on task!

First cut the 1X4 in half so that you have to 4' pieces.  The easiest way to do this is to stand the 1X4 on it's end and stand the MDF on its end and draw a line where the MDF ends on the 1X4.  When you saw it make sure both ends are supported so that the wood doesn't break part way through from the vibrations and weight.

Take one of those pieces and glue it to the edge of your piece of MDF board.  Clamp them together and let the glue dry for a bit.  **yes, that's vague but, if you feel you can work around the clamps without moving the piece of wood around then go to it!  That's what I did.  You can also leave it 24 hours (or whatever the container says) and come back.

Next measure (be as exact or not as you like here) one inch from the edge and go around the corner and measure one inch from the edge again.  Make an X on the spot.  This is where you're going to drill your first hole.  An inch farther in and along the same line drill another hole.  Do this on both sides.  This is on the side of the MDF that you just glued the piece of 1X4 to.

Here's a drawing I did.  It is NOT to scale.  It's a view of the top of the board.  If you have a longer board measure to the middle and drill two holes there too if you want to make extra sure that things are going to stay up.

My drawings in college really were better than this!

When you do your drilling it is best to put a piece of scrap on the side of the board that the drill is going to be coming out of so that you don't push a big chunk of board off.  It tends to chip with all of the pressure.  If you don't have a scrap piece of wood then just drill part way through, mark the other side and drill part way through again (this is not as easy as it sounds as you have to have the holes lined up perfectly).  I prefer to clamp a scrap piece of wood on the bottom and drill from the top.

Now, take the thimbles that came with the wire rope clips and two of the sleeves/crimps and your "crimper".  This is actually a Monkey Wrench (see picture below).  There are other names for it but that was always what I was told it was called and none of the other names seem to ever stick!  My Dad suggested this as one of the options to do the crimping and it was the one that worked...with much effort!!  What I would do if I were you and had this all to start over again is get a hammer and that spare piece of wood and wrap the wire around the thimble and stick it through the crimp.  You'll want one end of the wire fairly close to the crimp and pull the rest around the thimble and through the other side of the crimp.  Now, if you're using the Monkey Wrench method then make sure you adjust it so that the parts that touch close to the hinge is about 1/8 of an inch apart (where I've circled in the picture, not all of this type of tool has this part so, make sure yours do).  Now Squeeze like you've never squeezed before!!  Four times on each one.  Two on each side.  Ugh!  My stomach muscles are going to be aching for days!!!  Either that or this is the worst case of PMS Cramps I've EVER had IN MY LIFE!!  lol

Not REALLY crimpers....that's just what I used them for.

If you have (wisely) chosen the hammer method thread the thimble and crimp the same way put it down on the sidewalk and pound away until that thing is FLAT!!  This is a good way to get out some frustrations I imagine.  I may just do that...I've got some left over crimps and wire and a good many hammers....hmmmm.

Ahhh, now this would be very satisfying!

Now comes the scary part!  Making holes in walls!!!

First you'll have to measure down 2 feet (at least that's where I wanted my shelf) from the ceiling.  Wait.  I lied.  First you'll have to find the studs because if you just screw into drywall nothing will stay up.  I did pretty good with the tapping method.  It sounds hollow when there is no stud and solid when there is.  It takes some practice.  If you aren't sure take a LONG stick pin and drive it into the wall where you think the stud might be and if you can get the whole pin through there's nothing there if you get 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch through and get stuck there's your stud.  Celebrate!

Go ahead!  You've earned it.

Well, I think that's quite enough for today.  I'll post the rest in the next few.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!


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